LinkedIn and Facebook Were Just the Beginning

Paul Reifenstein    November 21, 2013


The future is not often predicted correctly.  Often times we try to predict the future based on aspects of life we currently experience and most of the time we are not forward thinking enough to really tap into what could be.  The video phone idea from the 80’s and early 90’s was literally a phone with a video screen on it.  Skype or Facetime weren’t even in the realm of possibility.

And don’t even get me started on this:

However when it comes to trying to predict the future of social media, there are some interesting approaches that one could take.  Sure, we could try and figure out what will knock Facebook off it’s throne, but we know that will happen eventually.  Sorry Mr. Zuckerberg.  But where people can get really creative is the vastness of what social media can do.

In the blog post, Social Media 2020 – Long Term Prediction, the author does just that.  There is no mention of the next big social media platform, but more an interpretation of what could be done with social media beyond the simple scope of connecting people.  The breakdown of what could happen in the next eight years of social media use is nothing short of world altering.

In the next two years, social media will be all about marketing and ensuring that competition for interest, relationships, or customers is the number one priority. “If you are not a Kred 700+, have 2,000 followers, and so forth you have nothing to say.”  This is an interesting thought when social media tends to be so accepting of everyone.  While anyone can be a “member” of the social media world, it will eventually turn into a place where influence by numbers is where the top dogs will emerge.

Additionally, in the next few years anyone hoping for consolidation can kiss that idea goodbye.  Everything is still about competition.  Using the example of Pinterest beating down Flickr, the author argues that the same competition will exist with social relationship management and social media analytics.

Mid-way through this decade, the competition will still be around.  However when it comes to developing new social media, we will see the development of services to help businesses better compete and better focus on customer value.  Along with the growth of competition support, interestingly enough collaboration will be at its peak.  Time management will be looked at in a whole new way due to this evolution as physical meetings will be something that is optional, rather than mandatory.

The end of the decade is when things will get really interesting.  This is where new products are not as important as how  we are using and being influence by social media.  “Democratization of influence” is the term used to describe the shift from key influencers topping out at about 100 individuals to that number growing to about 25 000- a million.  A great example used is within politics where politicians “will be reminded that they don’t control a society but serve a society.”

Following that shift in democracy is the idea of everything happening instantly.  Truely instantly.  Websites and business solutions will no longer need to have someone update them, but they will update as social media dictates.  With this final stage of the decade the idea of working locations is essentially gone and we “can hire anybody, any time for any job in any place of the world.  Well, that’s pretty cool.

Lessons Learned

  • While there may be a need for new products to ensure these developments work property and effectively, the current social media we use today could accomplish most of these ideas.  Someone just needs to do it.
  • “The industrial revolution changed the way we produced.  The social revolution is changing the way we market, service, and deliver our solutions.
  • It will be interesting to see what kinds of new social media “products” will be created to help this progress or to completely change it in the next ten years.


Social Media 2020 Long Term Prediction

The Future of Social Media

Submitted by: Paul Reifenstein – SMBP Student, University of Waterloo.  To contact the author of this blog post, please email

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